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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  July 2, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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we will talk about the reason, the u.s. military in afghanistan. after that, a representative of the citizens budget commission on the new york state budget deficit. from the nation's capital, this is "washington journal." . .
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>> good morning and welcome to "washington journal" on this july 2, 2010. congress is on recess for the july 4 week. the house voted last night on a spending bill that will pay 40,000 additional troops in afghanistan and also includes payment for school districts with teacher layoffs. president obama and vice president biden will deliver remarks at the service for senator robert byrd. we will talk with a west virginia reporter about the memorial this morning. but first, a question for you. what does the tea party mean to you? we will take your calls for the next few minutes. the numbers are on the screen.
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we will start off by looking at a "usa today" peace. . piece. it is less a classic political movement and a frustrated state of mind. what does the tea party mean to you?
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"usa today" engage in a poll with demographics. they have a breakdown of who they are. 78% or republicans or independents who lean republican. and in looking at some of the defining attitudes, the federal government that is a very serious threat to the nation's future well-being.
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let's get right to your calls on this topic. what do you think the tea party means? let's go to haiti march -- tea party member, charles, good morning. what does the tea party mean to you? caller: it means we can turn this country back around to the religious roots it was founded on, and the routes it was founded on. to me, that is what it means. i want to bring it back to what it was. host: you see politicians who you can support to share your viewpoint? caller: some. i am not totally satisfied with any of the party's right now -- any of the party's right nammti.
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if i was muslim and did not like this country or hindu and did not like this country, i would go back to a hindu or muslim country. this is a christian country. host: of quebec to the open court usa today" article -- let's go back to the "usa today" article.
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next up, neb., robyn, republicans lined. good morning. caller: good morning. the historical acronym for "ea" is -- the acronym for "tea" is taxing the will levy. -- taxing the whole levy. host: let's go to vivian. what does the tea party mean to you? let's go to the next call. jamie, you are from idaho? jamie, good morning. caller: yes, from anderson. i would like to say i am a
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disgruntled democrats. after going to a few rallies, i was somewhat disenfranchised because of being a black person and they wanted to use me for their own political reasons. what the tea party really means for myoporum -- observation, it is a bunch of disgruntled americans. under the guise of taxes and everything, they just do not like the fact that obama won the last election and they cannot accept that obama is president. the tea party is a bunch of angry white folks. host: addressing that statement in the "usa today" piece --
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next up, big sandy, texas, scott
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on the republicans line. caller: i believe in liberty. it is the one word that describes the tea party and the success of this nation to this point. it is also a word that you never hear the bamster use. he does not appreciate this -- host: i'm sorry, are you referring to the president? caller: yes, the bamster. you do not know who that is? host: we will move beyond that. caller: he does not understand what liberty is. host: moving on to anthony. caller: they seem to support
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wars, but they do not seem to support taking care of people to pay their salaries, you know, the taxpayers. i think the bulk of them are hypocrites. i do not see them as having any rational arguments because like i said, most of them seemed to -- you know, they work for the government. it is the of police, the teachers' unions. they just one of the money to be theirs. it is the bailout class. they do not want to do anything that is working hard for a living. host: let's look fdot this article. -- look at this article.
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los angeles, california, freddie is on the republicans line. caller: what the tea party basically means, and i think it is fairly obvious if you do a cursory investigation of it, these are people who want to limit the government based on competition.
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and of course, people cannot have that. so they slender them. the people who belong to the tea party movement and the people who support them like i do are not racists. they are against obama because of his ideas, not because of his skin. i personally support clarence thomas and think he is the best to bring court justice we have. it is a very simple thing. that is what these people believe. you may disagree with it, but that is what they believe. host: oceanside, n.y., joe, independent collar. caller: good morning, i like the previous caller, right on the money. i guess i'm conservative, but a more libertarian. i'm watching my government spiral out of control and spent
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14 trillion dollars in unfunded mandates. and i'm watching us borrow from china and they are still spending. they do not get it. they are still spending. i am saying to myself, my government does not represent me. they are sending jobs overseas and they brought in illegals to take the rest of our jobs. i do not belong to the tea party. and i am kind of an independent, but i am looking for someone who will come into office and represent the working men and women of this country regardless of the color of their skin. like the previous caller said, that does not matter. the democrats and republicans have no clue. they are in the pocket of wall street, big business, and other special-interest groups. host: let's get back to this
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gerald side journal piece. next up, louisiana, by run on the democrats line. -- byron on the democrats line. caller: i am an elderly person, but the tea party is a bunch of hypocrites, basically. i know one of them that you quoted this morning and he is a union worker who does not want to pay his debts back to
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society. you have to pay for what you get in this world. these tea party yearers want to, but they do not want to give back. host: pennsylvania, pike county, mary on the independent line. caller: everybody keeps talking about the black president, but as far as i'm concerned why isn't he biracial? wasn't he raised by a white
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grandmother? and number two, it seems like he is not going to be happy until the government controls everything. i had a friend who told me -- she came over to america from a camp in world war ii. she was poland and they were overrun twice. they were headed toward totalitarianism and she said, not in my lifetime. but here we are. host: ken in virginia. caller: i think the the board believes -- the tea party believes, i think a lot of the
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members are against spending cuts for the war. they follow closely what out its jones has said -- alex jones has said. this is the hope of our movement, that we are more educated and we realize that 9/11 was not caused by arabs with box cutters. it was caused by people inside washington controlling things. host: let's go to one of our e- mails from brandon in baltimore. new hampshire is up next, dan, democrats line. good morning.
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caller: good morning. i think everybody has given the tea party too much credit for being a new movement. this was the -- this is the base of the republican party and became an enduring clinton. it disappears frduring a republican running and reappears when republicans are not in power anymore. host: another e-mail, this one from paul who writes the -- you can e-mail us your comments. you can also find us on twitter. next up, a member of the tea party, jason in athens.
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caller: i wanted to agree with some of your previous caller to support the tea party movement. primarily those who upset eighth centers on the constitutional concept of the government ought to be limited. i also want to say that most to party members tend not to be racist. obviously, you will find some racist elements within the group, but i think you will find that in just got any organization. the only thing i want to read that maybe someone new to the organization is -- want to add that may be somewhat new to the organization is, when you say things like i want smaller government and i want government out of my life and then shortly after they will say, however, i do what my social security or my
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medicare, they will have to reconcile that with their principles to make things rival in the future. host: how do you reconcile that? caller: it may be unpalatable, but you could dissolve those organizations altogether. it might not be immediately viable, but that is an option. you could try to privatize them in some sort of way. i think it is something that the tea party movement is going to have to consider carefully if they want to move forward. host: let's take a moment and talk about senator byrd and the memorial taking place in west virginia today to honor him. this story comes from a charleston gazette. more than 1000 people lined the streets of downtown charleston to pay tribute to senator robert byrd, the young and old. they came are to be part of a
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moment in west virginia history. for some, it was to pay respects to a man whose -- they said was a fearless advocate for those in their states. joining us now, staff writer paul nyden. he is with the "charleston gazette" and thanks for joining us. what is the mood to like right now? were you able to witness the people watching the procession? guest: i walked out with the procession yesterday and it went to the state capitol last night. there were thousands of people of all causes and groups there to honor senator byrd. they were just ordinary westford unions who respected him for what he stood for and because he was -- west virginians who respected him for what he stood for and because he was a nice person. host: your paper has some photos in preparation for today's
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memorial. but we are looking at those right now. talk to us about what is expected to take place today. guest: there is a service of 1130 of the state capital and all kinds of people are expected to attend, the president and vice president. bill clinton and there are even rumors that jimmy carter and george bush might come. host: you have been reporting on the legacy that the center leaves, but also the chasm that he may leave politically for west virginia. what are people saying about what happens next? guest: he had so much seniority and he could get so many benefits for the state of virginia in terms of the
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courthouses, hospitals, medical research centers and colleges and universities. balad of that money will not be available anymore now that senator byrd is no longer in the senate. host: tell us about what happens next, his funeral plans for next week. guest: his fuel be up in his family church in arlington, virginia. he will be interred privately next to his wife who passed away about four years ago. host: you also have comments from your colleagues about the election to replace senator byrd. they had talked about waiting until 2012. but now there is talk about needing -- moving that sooner. guest: it is kind of fraud. i guess there will be about 28 months between now and election day -- it is kind of odd.
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i guess there will be about 28 months between now and election day. there will be two elections for the senate, one to fill the remainder of this seed, and one to fill the full six year term. host: and our west virginians -- aren't west virginians are talking about that? guest: yes, the governor has talked to mckeown appointment and they are not planning to make any changes to state law. host: visitors yesterday included members of congress and others who wanted to file past the casket. can you talk about this historic
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we? historically? guest: yes, he was in the house and senate for 50 years. and he so strongly spoke├║ the worst in iraq and afghanistan. he has been an outstanding spokesman for the powers of the congress. his father was a coal miner. he graduated from high school and became a butcher himself. this was an incredible heritage. he rose from poverty in west virginia to be one of the most prominent senators in the history of the senate. host: paul nyden with the "charleston gazette" thanks for joining us this morning. the celebration of robert byrd begins in west virginia at the
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state capital of 11:30 a.m. this morning. let's get back to our topic. we want to hear from you about what the tea party means. what you think its future will be as we approached midterm elections? but go to jaret in texas. -- let's go to jaret in texas. caller: i just want to see you smile, please. host: tell us, your republican. busey -- do you see room in the movement? ok, let's go to don on the democrats line. caller: i will tell you, the tea party is a paper tiger. some in the news media have really hyped it up. there capitalists were there is a little bit of wealth and
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privilege, but they are afraid they are losing their entitlements. i witnessed it in the town hall meetings my congressman, spratt, held a meeting and of they were there. they were predominantly white and older. i'm not saying they are racist, but they just were not accepting that they might not be in charge totally and it is difficult for them. also, it is being run a little bit by freedom works and i think they're being influenced about what is going on. and i do not believe they really one in republican primaries. i think they are going to get blasted when tea party candidates go up against the democrats in their giving
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districts. i do not think they have a chance. host: masuk of the "washington post" column by dan bale. and jumping to the next column, david axelrod said -- newlan
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merritt island, fla., james who says he is a tea party member, good morning. caller: i want to thank c-span for allowing everyone to say what they want to express this morning. that is a first amendment right and 80 party -- and up to a party and a tea party relief. and what i am for is returning to the roots of what the constitution -- root of the constitution, and is to bring down the bureaucracy. -- stripping down the bureaucracy. you have to go through so much paperwork to get anything done.
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i am not an anarchist either. i just want to get back to having a smaller, leaner, more efficient government that does not drain our resources. as far as those who say do not touch my social security and medicare, i know that those things are not sustainable and need to be phased out. one reason they do need to be phased out is because over the last several decades, the government has rated the trust fund that we all paid into and out they are all the phone. the harsh reality is, even though they are good programs, we cannot afford them. host: and governor charlie crist is running as an independent in florida. he decided to become an independent when marco rubio,
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when it looked like he was able to defeat him in the republican primary. the "new york times" reports that mr. christof -- crist has tacked to the left recently, but faces skepticism for his motives. this article talks about how his fate may turn on how democrats think of him. it says events on the democratic side could prove to be his ultimate benefactor. the question is, who will come out and support charlie crist at the polls? democrats, republicans, or independence since he is running on an independent ticket? -- independents since he is
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running on an independent ticket? another article in looking at the senate race, -- next up, okla., dawn, republicans line.
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caller: i'm calling because nowadays, i do not know if i am a republican, a democrat, or independent. the tea party, i want to tell you what it means to me. the tea party, you know, people say they are racist and maybe some people are. i am in the tea party and i am not a racist individual. president obama, he is not a true black individual anyway. he is half white and half black. the whole thing in america as we are all a melting pot. we learn that in grade school. that is what america is, in melting pot. we have a bunch of people from all over. that is what makes it work is freedom. host: let's look at the open
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court financial times" profiling senator scott brown. -- the "financial times" profiling senator scott brown. it reports that, thanks to mr. brown, we will be able to invest up to 3% of tir one capital in hedge funds in private equity firms.
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evanston, ill., randy on the democrats line. what do you think the two-party means? caller: it is what i call the most ignorant, masius, racist hypocrite in america. -- nastiest, racist hypocrites' in america. under george bush they have been able to rise to power and the only way you can get rid of these zombies is to chase them back into the putrefied store from which they crawled from. they probably make up about 33% of american people, and that is a huge number of people to be in that category. but this is our america that
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they represent. they need to be chased back into the putrefied sewer from which they crawled from. host: let's look fdot another article. let's go to port charlotte, fla., a tea party member, john, is up next. caller: the previous caller needs to of -- to educate himself a little bit because he does not know what he is talking about. regarding the social security and medicare issue, i heard two
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callers talk about they want to cut spending, but want to keep their benefits. if you look at the demographics, most of them have paid into social security and medicare and they want to get back what they paid in. if you want to talk about racism, maybe we should talk about this current administration. if you look at the black panthers, who bought the polling place recently during the last election. the day indicated whites. and eric holder has refused to -- they intimidated whites. and eric holder has refused to prosecute them. the attorney general has said that this would be one of the easiest cases to prosecutors and they let them go. host: let's look at the makeup of the tea party movement, one of the topics that sparked this discussion.
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they asked folks in a poll what they believe in. that's true, louisiana, baba, republican -- boughton ruchbato louisiana, bob, republican line. what do you think the key party is? caller: -- the tea party means?
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caller: i hear people calling in and they do not understand. the reason that the democrats fear them so much is they are afraid of them. anything you fear you always try to get rid of. let me tell you people out there, new democrats especially -- you democrats especially that have no clue what the two-party is about, we are not going away. -- with the tea party is about, we are not going away. you wait until november. host: let's look at this next piece.
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so far he has republican leaders in new york and washington cheering him on, but making no commitment of financial support. tennessee, good morning. caller: i want to address a couple of things about perception that we, as the party people, are racist or whatever. i just want to say, first, we
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believe that wealth redistribution is morally wrong. the social programs, the entitlements that we have are bankrupt in us. it does not mean that i am against old people or minorities. it is an acknowledgement that these programs are more than this country can afford. and that is all. and we have to address that. that is all i have to say about that. it does not mean i am a racist. host: we have a twitter comment -- one of the topics over the past year, health care legislation. and this from the "new york times" --
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and the "new york times" also reports on a case in virginia. we will see how that plays out in the courts. st. louis, missouri, robert on the republican line. oh, is this gene?
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sorry, gene, republican of in new york. caller: 80 daggers are malcontent crybabies who cannot accept that they lost -- tea baggers are malcontent revenues in canada except that they lost the election. they did not complain when things went wrong under president bush. pohick compassionate conservatism is a joke. calling conservative compassion it is like calling a cannibal a vegetarian. host: jeanne, republicans line in elmira, new york. caller: i am a registered republican, but i am also a supporter of the tea party movement. to the last caller that we are
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nothing but the content crybabies, let me reiterate that barack obama is from a mixed family. he is not completely black. and the tea party was started during the bush administration because of ron paul. another thing that was said was that the two-party people work for the government. by -- the tea party people work for the government. i am 29 years old and i have never worked for the government. the two-party is all about independence. it is about financial -- the tea
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party is all about independence. it is about financial independence from the government. host: i want to assure you this story. coming up next, we will have a discussion about immigration issues. our guest for that segment, olli noorani, executive director of the national immigration -- alleolli noorani, executive dirr
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of the national immigration forum. we will be right back. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> one of the best statements i have ever heard about money in politics is like -- is that it is like water that finds a hole. >> he won the pulitzer prize for his reporting on tom delay and jack abramoff. the senate will talk with jeff smith of the "washington post" on c-span's q&a. >> the c-span video library has every c-span program since 1987, but did you know that includes
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>> "washington journal" continues. >> our guests ali noorani is the executive director for the national immigration forum. thank you for joining us. you met with the president about immigration reform. what did you want to hear and what did you hear in the meeting? guest: we wanted to make sure that he was focusing on the right of all aspects of immigration policy. by and large, it was clear that he wants to fix the immigration system and he sees the waste and harm that is being caused by our immigration system as it currently stands. it has been an important week for immigration policy and we will see what the rest of the summer and fall have to hold. host: you can call in about immigration. the numbers are on the screen.
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and we also have a line set up for residents of arizona 202- 628-0184. the president spoke of yesterday about immigration, really, his first speech on this topic since he has taken office. guest: yesterday was the first time he came out and talk about immigration, a very substantive speech. and what was important was not only what he said, but who was in the audience. in the audience you had the leading evangelical churches in the country, the national hispanic coalition, the southern baptist convention. the president was speaking to the middle of america saying this is what we have to do and they were standing up and applauding. christian leaders in our country were saying, this is a good fix. host: peter baker reports in the "new york times" --
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talk to was about what your organization with like to see happen with people who are here illegally right now? -- right now. guest: we feel a few things need to happen. first, that federal government needs to require them to register for legal status. once they do that, study english, has a criminal background check, pay fine, and after a time frame, get in line for citizenship. but there are strict, tough steps to take before they are in line for citizenship. that is fair and practical.
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that is what the majority of americans want. the majority of americans do not think that detaining and deporting 11 million people makes sense fiscally or four people across the country. host: you have said that the president is calling this a broken system and is talking about fixing things. he has also criticized the arizona law. what is being done, though? the justice department has not taken any steps forward with communicating with qarizadah on how to deal with that. guest: we expect -- with arizona on how to deal with that. guest: we expect they will deal with that. it is undermining our constitution. we cannot have localities and states just throwing sand in the face of the constitution. it is important that doj steps in ahman and really bring a stop -- steps in, and really brings a stop to this law.
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host: democrats and republicans say a bill will not pass this year. in this article be called on republicans to join him in passing a bill, but walked out facing a big -- bigger divide than ever, including having urged one key lawmaker read been a major ally on the issue. guest: i think there's a difference between conservative leadership and conservative politicians. conservative leadership are close to the grassroots. when you have evangelical leadership you have mayors and governors, employers. these are people who every day, they are talking to people on the ground. and they have come to a conservative leadership and said, we ought to fix the broken immigration system. and then you have conservative politicians. they are more than willing to place the blame game with democrats. that is what we need to fix. host: republicans were willing
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to discuss immigration reform even under george of the bush, but now obama has not been able to gain traction as well with them. tell us how this dynamic is playing out. guest: you have a republican party that has more less said, we are not going to do anything. every day we hear more examples about their obstructionism, which is more and more remarkable. the only issue on the table right now as a country, will they have a track record of working with democrats? in the past five years, 10 years, 20 years, worked with democrats on immigration reform, but now we're not going to? they're cynical players in this. the senate leadership and house leadership have put proposals on the table. let's move forward. host: let's go to fairfax, virginia, good morning.
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caller: i'm a registered republican, but i do not know which party i'm aligning with. it is unclear what the pooh -- with the parties to truly stand for. it is interesting. you have largely management by emergency and then you have a xtreme management, management by buyout. the world of was killed in the gulf was not an american company. -- that was spilled in the gulf was not an american company. you have a buyout, too. the party in power is always playing politics where the leadership among politicians in
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d.c. seems to be eroding across party lines. host: let's stop there. guest: right now in washington d.c. is an incredible stalemate. but in the case of immigration, we have seen a detailed proposals put on the table from senators reid, schumer, menendez, leahy, durbin, of which talk about immigration reform and how to fix it. in march of this year you have senator gramm, a leading republican from south carolina, put a proposal on this -- on the table and now he is back tracking. yesterday, the president was serious. at some point, the grownups have to come to the table. host: and we have a line for
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qarizadah setup 202-628-0184. let's see some comments from obama about immigration. >> obviously, the problem is greatest along our southern border, but it is not restricted to that part of the country. in fact, because we do not do a very good job of tracking who comes in and out, large numbers of avoiding immigration simply by overstaying their visas. the result is immense -- an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the united states. host: this idea of porous borders, what you think should be done to deal with the border situation? guest: we need to have a strong border. we need to have a secure border. in our studies of what border policy looks like, the weakest part of our border are actually
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the point of entry. the majority of drug store in north or south are actually going for a point of entry. we have been advocating for additional dollars at the point of entry. that is where drugs go to our borders, not across the desert. that is the real source of stress on the border. let's put the dollars into the point of entry. with the secure port of entry, then we have a secure border. host: youngstown, ohio, democrats line, ann. caller: i have two comments. in europe, they have id cards. unless we id the whole country,
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the immigrants would not feel they were different. and i do not see anything wrong with that. i also believe that the immigrant should be included, that we should be able to track the 11 million people and they citizens eventually. become and i do believe the republicans want them to work in their houses and clean up their yards. guest: you have a wonderful two points there, one is the hypocrisy. we depend on immigrant every day, but we forget who they are as people. that is something that we have to come back to. immigrants are our neighbors. they are the people that we work with, the people the be asked to provide services.
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this question about a vinification is very important. if we have 11 million people who are literally afraid of going to the police to report a crime, we are all less safe. if that person is a victim of a crime and does not feel they can report it to the police, we have a problem. there is a big distance between staff those people and local -- local police. they need to know they can report a crime because they know they will not be reported to immigration. they can get on a path to citizenship. as you point out, they should be able to one day. host: from "usa today" island, has tried to --
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is this racist? guest: if we're going to be basing our law enforcement on the facts that somebody is walking down the street with somebody else and not speaking bush, yes, we have a problem. if you are working in tandem and -- not speaking english, yes, we have a problem. if you were walking in tandem and not speaking english, that should not be a problem. last time i was in arizona i met a young man who was deployed to afghanistan and he said to me, why am i going to go fight for my country when i come back to my state and i am asked for my papers? that is what arizona is turning into. . .
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our border is as safe as it has ever been. does this look safe to you in what is our country coming to? we will not surrender any part of arizona. we need to stand up and demand action. washington is broken, mr. president. do your job. secure our borders. arizona and the nation are
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waiting. host: we hadn't really heard a lot from governor brewer since she signed this into law. what's the response to this ad? >> well -- guest: well, the resources on the board have quintupled and immigration campaign is part of that. i think she is playing politics with a really serious issue in the state of arizona, and at the end of the day, she is not doing anything, necessarily, to improve the state. so this law in arizona actually decreases the trust between the law enforcement and the community and it makes the area less safe, because people feel
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they cannot report a crime. host: and the signs were erected after local ranchers asked for them. after they reported increased problems. >> i spoke to a woman whose husband owns one of the largest almond exporting business in the world. she said people are coming to the desert because they can't enter through a legal path. we need to have ports of entry that are secure. this is a person who lives on the border, owns a significant amount of land on the border. she says i don't need a fence. i just need a fixed immigration policy. host: mike calling on our independent line, what are your comments? caller: i lived in my in new
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york all my life and moved to phoenix in the past 1 1/2 years. the economy here is horrific. i've never seen anything like it. it's horrific. illegal aliens, everyone's fighting for the illegal aliens but what about the ones that lived their life here, even the ones that entered legally. you had to show yesterday about extension of unemployment benefits. people calling with the most horrific stories, heart-wrenching stories. you have to put the illegal aliens out of the country and let americans fill these jobs. >> first of all, the fear and the anxiety in the country is real. the fact that these unemployment benefits have not been extended is a serious problem for millions of people across the nation. there's no doubt about it. absolutely no doubt about it. however, to blame the immigrant for the economy and the state
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of the economy, i think is -- takes us in the wrong direction. to actually fix the economy, a fundamental part of fixing the economy is fixing our immigration system. in fact, independents think like the kato institute found by fixing the broken immigration system and making taxpayers out of them actually contributes over $1.5 trillion in economic growth over 10 years. in fact,, another think tank found that same program would create over 700,000 jobs over 10 years, so actually immigration reform creates jobs, so because of every job for a person who becomes documented in terms of picking an almond, there's another job createed in packaging and sell that almond. but if you lose that picker, all those other jobs are gone. that's the challenge.
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to blame and escape go to the immigrant and fall into this trap brewer is laying for us. host: welcome. caller: hi. i've got three comments. i keep hearing all this stuff about illegals. you know, as a citizen, if i go before a judge, and i've done something wrong, the first thing, and i say hey, your honor, what's going to happen to my family? you know what he's going to say? you should have thought of that before you did the crime. my grandma waited eight years to become a citizen and had to learn enough english to get her citizenship. as far as rewarding people for beaking our laws, when are we going to start rewarding bank robbers? that's number one. number two, all this stuff about americans won't do jobs, they are crazy.
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number three, we are supporting borders in afghanistan, pakistan, iraq, iran, and we can't secure our own? guest: jim, the question you bring up in terms of people who won't do the jobs. i agree with you. and immigrants are doing hard jobs, but also americans will do those jobs as well. so that's a false pretense that americans won't do these jobs. i think the idea that people, immigrants should not be able to legalize their status because they broke the law, the fact is that we have 11 million people here. we have to have a practical solution. and a practical solution means requiring them to legalize their status and pay their taxes. if we make them taxes we generate billions in tax rev knew, those are dollars our
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economy sorely needs and right now under current law, if you come here legally you are not eligible for any program or benefit from the federal government for at least five years. so there is a tremendous benefit to our nation for through immigrants whether they are here legally or whether we are able to legalize their status through immigration reform. >> ali noorani is our guest from the national immigration forum. with the mission to advocate for the value of immigrants and immigration to the nation. and you met earlier this week with the president at the white house and of course, the president gave a big speech yesterday talking about i mean investigation. that's our topic right now. let's go to los angeles, california, lauren. democrats line. good morning. caller: good morning. i just have a couple comments. you know, i think, as i told
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the screener, i think i'm probably going to have to become an independent. my party, democrats have and are becoming more a party of the very, very wealthy, and the very, very poor. and there's no room for the middle class and democratic party anymore. and i think immigration. when you're talking about immigration, first of all, these are not immigrants. these are inner lopers. my other comment is we hear a lot about they are already here. gang members are already here, so should we develop a policy to make gang members feel more welcome and not deal with gang members and not deal with their crimes and the fact that what they do is illegal? because well, they are already here. what are we going to do? and then they raise other gang members. instead of worrying about 11 million people who are in this country illegally, when is the president -- when are all these
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feel-good groups going to start worrying about the middle class? guest: lauren, one thing you were say thrg about gang members is a very interesting point because with these 11 million people who are un documented we've got to get them right with the law. by doing that we figure out which ones are gang members and we believe in order gain status you have to go through a background check so the person here and doesn't want to register for legal status we know they are a problem. los angeles or any place here in the nation who is documented or not, wants to live in a secure and safe community and want to make sure their children can play on the street and in the park every day. that's what they want. that's why they came to america. they don't want that gang member in their neighborhood just like you don't want that gang member in your
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neighborhood. so we know the person who is not going to register is the one here to do harm so our law enforcement resources can go after them. if we have 11 million people and there's a needle in that haystack, the best thing way to find that needle is to shrink that haystack. >> the strong arm question is what we are going to do with the 11 million people who are here? enforce the laws on the books so have customers paying a fine for every illegal that they hire. as they do this state-by-state, state-by-state, these people will get the idea, geez, i don't have an easy job here anymore. the other thing i'd like to bring up is talking about infairness, a person who comes here has a child called quote
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an anchor baby. that's how they are eligible to get $1,500 a month until the child is 18. they can have two, three, four, doesn't matter. guest: this issue of the exactical solution here, and to believe that we can spend, you know, $500 billion to deport 11 million people, it doesn't make sense for our nation. right now our country needs taxpayers and tax rev knew, and there are nearly 11 million folks here who want to pay the taxes and that crooked employer who needs to do the perp walk is the one who is winning right now. because they are exploiting the undocumented worker, the american worker and not paying their taxes. not paying their taxes. so by reforming the immigration system, every one of those workers is protected under law and that employer has to pay their taxes and if not they
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have to do the perp walk. we want to see the system fixed as much as you do. host: new york mayor michael bloomberg stays country is giving a short troist immigration and economic problems will worsen until america sends out a more welcoming message. he said on abc's good morning america that an overly restrictive policy who can create work with an entrepreneurial spirit. guest: our immigration system doesn't allow them to stay. so we train our competition. that's how out of w.a.c. our i mean -- out of whack our immigration system is. host: let's go to texas where cynthia is on the dental line. -- 202-737-0002.
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-- >> is on the democratic line. caller: i want to address an issue that's real. several years ago i had occasion to go to the social services office on behalf of my mother. while i was there, there were two hispanic women speaking spanish. they were there to receive welfare. they had their children with them. and between the two of them, i believe there were eight kirn. -- children. and to make a long story short, they were there for food stamps and welfare. they did not speak english. i thought, ok. well, don't judge. but when i finished my appointment with the adult services, i came out, and they were getting into a car that -- [inaudible] here's my question. how can l.a. county send annually over $1 billion in
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welfare for illegal immigrants and their children? 24% of the u.s. allotment of welfare and food stamps is going to the children of illegal immigrants. guest: so are you saying because they were in the welfare office and not speaking english that they were not here legally? because i don't think that's a fair assumption. i'm not familiar with the laws in l.a. county. but if l.a. county has made a decision to provide services and benefits to families who don't speak english all the time, i think that's well within the privy of the county. but i think what we're getting at is the fact that our immigration system and this debate is leading to assumptions about people that is really just harming the fabric of our country. you know, those children, as a
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nation, we have decided over and over again that we are going to invest in the future of our children. those children deserve that opportunity to be healthy, to be able to go to school and to be successful, because at the end of the day, we, as a country, will succeed. so i think we just have to be careful about what we assume about people and what language they speak or do not speak. host: on twitter, it's written he is saying -- guest: well, we're seeing more and more companies move to mexico and china and canada and in fact, we're seeing our agricultural industry move from the united states to mexico. because in the united states they cannot get immigrant workers because of the immigration system. so once our industries move south or to another country, they are not coming back. so fixing our immigration system is a bottom line issue.
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host: independent line? >> you know, -- caller: you know, this is nothing but a push for amnesty. this guy's a joke. why don't you ask ali if he statisticsically knows how many people have been killed by illegal immigrants and how many police officers or peace officers have been killed by illegal immigrants in the last 10 years. people who shouldn't be in our country. guest: you're asking me a very good question. we believe in the immigrants we work with across the country believe that those folks causing investment crime or killing people do not belong in our country, period. period. and we can spend billions of dollars going after 11 million people or we can figure out of those 11 million, let's require them to get legal and right with the law and those who don't, that's who we spend our money on to get because the small number who are causing these kinds of heinous crimes
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are hiding within this haystack. so we can debate the politics and question our assumptions but at the end of the day we have a haystack we need to shrink and that way we can prioritize our problems and that's our problem and that's what we need to fix. host: you're on with ali floor ronny. caller: i do disagree with all you have to say, sir, but after 9/11 i thought for sure that night we would go ahead and secure the borders. so this issue has been going on for a long time. certainly not the current president's total problem. the problem is, and the discussion hasn't come up is we wish to remain a sovereign nation, a nation of laws. either you're supposed to be here or you're not. now you cannot have your cake and eat it, too, in this life. now there's been a dare lix of duty -- dare election of duty going on throughout the
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decades, but we want to solve the problem now. not out of meanness or harshness. now when you try to parse out each individual feelings and things that's when we get way off track. guest: i'm trying to talk facts with you. where are we spending our resources and keep our country safe? after the tragedy of 9/11, we put into place hundreds of laws, all talking about enforcement. did that fix the problem of our broken immigration system? no. people who desire to come to our country do not have a legal path to enter so we have to fix the legal immigration system just ads much as we have to end illegal immigration. right now there are 5,000 visas available for low-skill workers. yes, there is a major employment crisis in our country. there's a major economic crisis
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in our country. but the fact that we have only 5,000 work visas creates an imbalance we have to solve. so i'm not trying to talk emotions but numbers so we do get past the emotion and talk facts and we get to a solution. host: let's take a look at president obama talking at a university about the arizona law. >> into this breach, states like arizona have decided to take matters into their own hands. now, given levels of frustration across the country, this is understandable. but it is also ill conceived. and it's not just that the law of arizona is divisive, although it has already faned the flames of a debate. laws like arizona put huge pressures on local law enforcement to enforce rules that are ulttmately unenforceable.
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it puts pressure on already-hard-strapped state and local budgets. it makes it difficult for people here illegally to report crimes, driving a wedge between community and law enforcement. making our streets for dangerous and the jobs of our police officers more difficult. host: you mentioned you expected the justice department would file suit against the arizona law. what other response? >> there's been a number of lawsuits filed. we would like to see them move through the system and a program that the federal government uses that in essence grant this authority to localities. what it's led to is indiscriminate profiling. so if an immigrant isn't even driving but walking down the street, the officer has a right to pull them over and act as immigration agents. >> the problem is local police
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who have been given this job of enforcing immigration law has been give an job that's incredibly complicated. do we want local police checking our tax papers? no. we want the i.r.s. to do that. that's their job. so the focus needs to be on your responsibility and we need to get congress to work. >> hi. host: good morning. caller: good morning. two points i would like to point out is border security has way more to do than just stopping illegal immigrants. it's stopping drugs. it's stopping arms that are going into mexico, killing mexican police, and soldiers, so we're asking afghanistan and pakistan to do something -- and
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if you don't think al qaeda doesn't know our borders are such a joke, what is going to have to happen is there will be an al qaeda attack traced back to someone from canada and mexico just walking across our borders. guest: you have a very important point. we have been advocating for stronger border patrol. right now, if a person wants to smuggle guns or drugs, they literally drive up to a port of entry and get on through but our government is not putting boots on the zri. instead they are putting up a fence. that doesn't solve our jewelry problem. so we should be spending money on where it counts.
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for the border it means there. host: go ahead. caller: this question is for ali. basically, i'm 26 years old. i don't have too much of a political stance. but as far as i look at it, i see a lot of young americans involved in a situation, as far as arizona goes, because this is the first state to step up and say we're going to question illegal americans. how do you look at it, as far as a society goes? and other states to look upon it as mexicans, canadians, whatever ethnicity, are illegal immigrants. why does the united states get the opportunity to justify the right to judge another ethnicity as being illegal? guest: well, brian, thank you, very much, for the call and
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engaging in the debate. when we look at the arizona law across the nation and ask voters do they like the arizona law? 70% will say yes, we like the law. we ask the same group of people, do you the federal government fix our immigration system? oh, that 74%, 85% will say yes. so the fact right now is people want something done. whether they are 18 years old or 80 years old. that's just a fact, and i think for us as a nation to move down this path and stopping anyone who looks ordinary person sounds like an immigrant, because we won't with ask them for their papers? i mean, we fought wars against a country or countries that operate that had way. so we have to be careful where we're going and really fix the laws we have.
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host: when city police stop me i have to show my papers or license or whatever so why not illegals? >> so in arizona one of the scarer parts of this law is if i am playing soccer on a field, and i may or may not have a permit to be playing soccer, and i'll start driving by and say are you playing soccer? i'm going to ask you fur a -- if you have a permit 67 all i've done is potentially broke an city ordnance. that's the level of fear around anxiety in the state of arizona. on the road, yes, you should have a drivers license. nobody eels quibbling about that. but if you're playing soccer or walking on the sidewalk, should you be asked for your papers? host: scott from illinois. caller: i worked in construction for 10 years in california, and also illinois.
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and that was a laboror's union. so i've worked with some illegals. some of the guys that i worked with, they didn't care about the constitution. they don't care about the declaration of independence. they don't care about our national history. all they care about is making money, sending it back to mexico, and not keeping our jobs here. they are taking our economy over there. and that's what i'm concerned about. i mean, this is important. guest: this is really important. and to become a citizen. so what we find is when we talk to immigrants across the nation and i understand we talk to one or two people who are outliars. they want the opportunity for them and their family to stay in the states and become a citizen. part of that process is learning about our nation's history and our solution. most of us learn about
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immigrants every day. that's the important part. this idea that they are just sending dollars back. but the reality is when people are here and doing jobs here, they are creating more jobs and actually spending their dollars in local communities. so it's very easy for us to use that one specific example, and then make it the case for everybody we think is an imp grant. the challenge for all of us in this country is to look at the big picture and understand in our napings, because we make taxpayers out of everybody and we shadow people and -- host: karen, independent caller. good morning, karen. caller: good morning. good morning ali. i just turned this on a few minutes ago, and i'm just very upset, because i feel that we, as americans, are not being
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told the truth. years ago, i had my father show me things that they were trying to restructure our country with different booklets he had that you cannot get your hands on today, but and don't hang up on me. but through the trilateral commission he has a book word-for-word where rockefeller and -- how they wanted to form these three areas of our world with asia and north america and europe and try to restructure our whole country and make it into a nation where industrialized areas of this country are moved out. and to -- now you have the european union, and we're trying to become a north american union with canada and secure, and that's why they are not going to waste time and money to the southern border of
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mexico and thh miranda -- we gave much money to secure the southern border of mexico. guest: this issue to be a sovereign nation is important to talk about, because we as a country are a country and we need to have strong borders. we have our own constitution and government. that is the way it sauls always should be. what we're struggling with now is as my generations go, as people came to pop late our nation and make it great, people are still coming. and to make this country great. so i think we have to really struggle with this challenge of what does immigration mean to us as a nation, but also realize we are a sovereign nation. we are the united states of america and we have a responsibility to live according to our constitution. and that's what makes us special. and that's why people still
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want to come here. host: clinton in maryland. a democrat. caller: first of all, let me say how impressed i am with ali, and yourself, dear. you're one of the best. for the lack of sounding naive on this subject, it seems to me that we have to go back a couple hundred years historically. the people we're trying to keep away from our borders in coming in, culturally and historically, it's their land. and i know this is the third rail in this whole argument, because we talk about security and guns being run into mexico and drugs are coming out, and all of those criminal matters. but it seems to me, and much
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smarter people should debate this. much smarter people than myself should debate the -- when the united states was created the whole issue of texas and the mexican territory. host: because we're short on time, i want to get a response. guest: first of all, thank you for the kind words. yesterday at the president's speech, i met a tribal leader who -- who is part of a resident vacation along the border. and he was talking about the the security issues that they have. but also the desire that they have as native american nation on the border, to make sure that people are treated well and humanely, as people are trying to immigrate to the country. so you're right. it's not just about the immigrant today and just about the immigrant 100 years ago. it's about who was here
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hundreds of years ago, as you put it? and that's the amazing part about this issue. it's not cut and dried. it's not black and white. and every person you talk to has a different perspective on it. host: ali neuronny executive director of the national immigration forum. thank you for being with us. guest: thank you. host: coming up we'll talk to sebastian junger about his book. but first this campaign update. >> today we want to take a look at new campaign ads running in a few key senate races and joining us from the hotline studios, amy walter editor in chief of the national journal's hotline. let's start with illinois and if you could, give us a quick recap of what happened there with the race for the senate seat in that state this of course, is former senator obama
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's of the united states and of course, had he stayed in the senate, he would be up in this election cycle. so the battle between ealexi, the state treasurer and congressman mark kirk from sub irban, chicago. if you look at the state, you say it's obviously a blue state and the expectation is democrats would easily hold the steat. but a funny thing happened along the way. alexi's family who owns a bank and she has been involved in that bank has been in trouble recently because of the bank. they loaned money to some unsavery characterize and recently the feds overtook the bank and was unable to sustain itself. so they are making it moved.
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if he can't do that very well and also looks at his record as treasuror saying the state lost a lot of money in a college loan program. can't do that successfully, why should we send him to washington? so controversies then evolved about mark kirk's own resume, and that's some of the adds you will see, hopefully in the next couple seconds. >> yes. let's take a look at his ad as well as his opponent's. >> mark kirk, he's caught in a lie. >> i was the navy intelligence officer of the year. >> he claimed an award he never won. >> explaining a second false claim. >> what he said about his military record did not match what actually happen. >> the last time i was in a wreck i was in uniform and the
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iraqi defense network was shooting at us. >> not exactly. >> he said he served in iraq. >> i served in iraq and afghanistan. >> he claims he fought in the first war. not true. >> still -- >> i command the war room in the pentagon. >> he does serve in the pentagon alert center but does not command it. >> he did violate pentagon policies for intermingling his military work with politics. >> where does he think he can get away with lying about his record? >> i am mark kirk and i approve this message. >> alexi is only 34, but what a 34 years it's been. at his father's bank he made tens of millions to of loans to risky investors and mobs. then now running for senate,
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alexi supports higher taxs to fund billions more in spending. alexi, ji newell use, trust him with your money? >> what has been the intact of two negative ads? >> well, it's very early. it's unclear how many people are going to see these, but i think there's a couple important things to remember, one, this is going to be an ugly, ugly race. if you live in illinois, you're going to see these types of adds than what you will in times of hope and change and let's hold hands kinds of things. the second thing is these ads are starting so early. there was a time-honored rule that you start advertising after the labor day weekend and the fact that both are up right now they understand they need to get out there as quickly as
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possible. because by the time labor day rolls around, it may be too late but the voters in that upestate don't have the best options in front of them, basically one candidate saying yes, i may have inflated my resume but at least i'm not part of a bank that collapsed and gave money to mob characterize verse strers other candidate that says yeah, well, i may have some problems with my bank, but look, at least i don't make up stuff on my resume and exaggerate who i am. >> and mark kirk in recent days has come out and apologized for those misstatements and held a news conference about it. we're going to air that nies conference tonight, 8:00 p.m. eastern time for those who are interested in watching it on c-span 2. let's go to connecticut for the senate seat to replace and it's between democratic candidate
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and republican linda mcmahon. linda mcmahon has come out with a new add -- with a newed a talking about the business -- with a new ad, talking about the business she used to run. >> like illinois, a bloom enall this is well known and has apatrol ratings then about a month ago it came out he, too, had inflated his military credentials, a lot of controversy around that. however, democrats keeping the pressure on linda mcmahon. she made her money and is spending a lot of it as the head of the world wrestling entertainment formerly known as the w.w.f. others contain the sport, itself, has led to some abuses by the wrestlers, many who had abused steroids, and that the folks in the w.ment e. didn't do enough to clamp down on that
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use and the context of the w.w.e. is inappropriate. violent and not well-suited for the young people who look up to these athletes. >> it's a headline in today's wall street journal talking about how the w.w.e. has become a factor in this race. she addresses it in her campaign. >> before i decided to run for the senate, i had a regular job. ok. maybe not a regular job. i was the c.e.o. of world wrestling entertainment. a soap opera that entertains millions every week, and everyone gets in on the action. that is not real, but our problems are. connecticut families are hurting. we're losing jobs because washington politicians are spending money we don't have. last year, connecticut was 47th in job creation. we can do better. we've got to do better. it's time we reign?
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run away washington spending, pass a budget attempt to control that spending long-term and stop taxes increase scheduled for the end of this year. we cannot if we send another big politic government to washington. it's time to shake things up. it's time for something different. i'm linda mcmahon, and i approve this message. >> that's the latest ad in the race for the connecticut senate seat. let's go to our guests, jim bender, one of the candidates in that race is out with an ad heading into the july fourth recess. let's take a look at that. >> the federal government is devouring everything, taking over anything in its sites. we have seen it feast on benefits, college loans and our health. >> i'll put our government on a strict diet and see he's
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finished fattening up on your hard-earned dollars. we know we don't want to government running anything. >> yum. >> i'm jim bender, and i approve this message. >> amy walter can you give us a quick update on that race. >> i apologize to anybody eating breakfast that the point. really not hungry anymore. you know, this is a very interesting race. the state of new hampshire for the last two cycles has been decidedly blue. this year, though, republicans starting off with an advantage at least on the so called congressional ballot test, voters saying they would prefer to have a republican rather than a democrat. kelly ayod is senior considered the favorite. she's the state attorney general, but there are a couple others also involved in that race. that is primary so it's a long way to go before they pick a
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republican candidate to face off on paul hodes who is right now starting off in the polls but republicans who are spending time and money on each other will give them somewhat of an advantage. this will be a competitive race but right now the republican candidate has the advantage. thank you for your time this morning. >> for more information about campaign 2010, go to our website. host: sebastian junger, author of the book "war" joins us from boston. he con kls a story about a platoon of soldiers who served in afghanistan's valley in 2007-2008. thank you for joining us. guest: my les pleasure. host: -- you write that the valley is the afghanistan of afghanistan. too remote to conquer, too poor to intimidate date and too
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aweton mouse to buy off. when the 10th mountain division rolled into the valley in 2006, they may have been the first military force to reach its southern end. share with us more perspective on this region we're talking about. >> well, it's a small, six-mile long valley. it served as a sort of weigh point on the trail from pakistan into comba bull during the mu gentleman ha deen days. the local population is very independent and very tough and the americans probably did as well as anyone has in terms of bringing outside influence into that valley that i was with the battle company of 150 men and they saw almost 500 fair to fights during the course of their deployments. host: and you're saying they grabbed their deer, fair to off the birds and get mortared almost immediately.
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14 months later they say goodbye that way as well. what compels you to hang out with these men. you visited them five times over the course of a 15-month deployment. >> i did five one-month trips. sometimes my partner did that with me, sometimes separate. i've been reporting from afghanistan since 1996 always from the civilian population's perspective. this time i wanted to know what it was like to be a soldier in the u.s. military so i died decided to follow one platoon off and on for an entire deployment and wound up being with those guys. there was an enormous amount of combat and they built an out post named after the platoon medic and that outpost was on high ground about 1 1/2 hours from the main base, airpower was 30ments away and was basically a fair fight for 30 minutes and the first day i was
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out there we were attacked four times, taliban fighters comin up trying to get within range to throw hand grenades, my intent was to write a book and make a movie that was not political at all but simply reflect the reality of the soldiers. the soldiers don't speak or think politically about the war. that was the movie i wanted to make with tim ed mon to know. >> he also wrote "the perfect storm" and "a death in belmont." give us a call if you want to comment. we have a special line set up for active members of the military, 202-628-0184. you talk about why you chose these guys to be with. you write that they are the tip of the spear. you were asking captain teenagery who were the people to spend time with. he said there's the main effort
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for the company. i put them down there against the enemy because i know they are going to get out there and they are not going to be afraid. i tell tierney, these are the guys i want to be with. >> the army doesn't put bad troops in bad places and the corn gall was 1/5 of the come bat -- combat in all of afghanistan happening in those six miles. the enemy basically owned the southern half of the valley. when they went down there, they got attacked. simple as that. and i wanted to understand what it was like emotionally. i wanted to understand the emotional terrain of combat. what it's like to be in combat and so the platoon seemed like the choice. host: what are living conditions like there? guest: it was up on a bridge. there was no running water.
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so they didn't bathe for a month at a time. they built this outpost with pick axes and shovels literally hacked out of the rock by hand while they were getting attacked. the first day they were attacked 13 times in one day. there was no communication with the outside world. no internet, no phone, no cooked food. it was infernally hot in the summer, swarming with flies and in the winter, zero degrees, incredibly cold, built plywood hooches heated with gasoline that didn't really work. it was rough out there. their rotation was three-to-four weeks. they get back down to the main base and burn their clothes which were in shh reds and called their wives and girlfriends they have not been able to call for a month. take a shower, get a hot meal and a couple days later they'd head back out to do it for another month. they spent a year like that.
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it was rough out there. >> let's take a look at your film, this is soldiers talking about what is like to live in this very deadly place. >> i've been on about four or five sleeping pills and nothing helps. i prefer not to sleep and not dream about it then sleep and see the picture in my head. >> everybody's like oh, you're going to corn gal? oh, and they feel sorry for you. >> deadliest place on earth is the korengal valley. >> i'm thinking what are we doing? >> first friend i lost was to slap nell. >> he died, shooting off flares. >> in the middle of the night we put up a fair to base and they realized they could not knock off restrepo, --
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>> takes a little bit out of you. every time you see one of your boys get hurt. they are like a family. >> describe the relationships, the bonds build among these men. i say men because we are talking about guys who are out at this place. >> yes. there were no women soldiers out there. it was all men. well, you know, there's a real brotherhood that exists at a place like that. it exists because it's necessary for survival. brotherhood is very different from friendship. friendship is determined by how you feel about a person. brotherhood has nothing to do wit. it's the understanding that you will put the welfare of the group ahead of yourself and one sole jerds said there's guys in the platoon who straight up hate each other but we would all die for each other. that's a very particular thing that can only be found in
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combat or regularly in combat and it makes it hard for these guys to return home. they are 19, 20, at the bottom of the food chain socially and come back to the united states and they don't have a sense of purpose. they don't have a sense of inclusion or understand who they are supposed to be. all those questions are answered in a small unit at a place like that. and in a weird way as dangerous as that place was, myself included and tim included, emotionally, psychologically in a weird way it's a more secure place to be. >> karen on our democrats line in ohio. caller: hi, sebastian, i've had the honor and wonderful opportunity to get to know semple full bright scolers studying here in the u.s. from afghanistan via many, many hours of talking to them, i have developed my ability to have empathy for the people in afghanistan in regard to an
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occupying force. and do you think on several issues i've talked with these full bright scholars about when the u.s. first invaded in 2000 and 2001 in the fall that thousands -- several thousand afghani taliban members had surrendered to the occupying forces and had been transported in a convoy. there's a documentary about that. the convoy of death. afghan massacre. do our soldiers have empathy or would that make them available to be killed more easily and what would happen to a taliban member if they surrendered? and again, we are an occupying force and do our soldiers have the ability to empathize with the people in afghanistan? guest: i am sorry.
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you scombrust dropped out. so i'm just going to answer. if we were seen as an occupying force i think we would suffer the casualty it is russians did. they were really an occupying force and invaded in 197t 9. i think we're seen very much like the police in a high-crime neighborhood. they don't really want us there but most afghans understand the consequences of us not being there. 16,000 afghan civilians have been killed because of nato combat operations since 2001 that's a human rights watch up in. number. also in the previous nine years under the taliban in the chaos of the civil war of the 1990's, 400,000 afghans were killed. so as bad as things look now, it's actually the lowest level of violence in that country in 30 years. so i think you do have to be
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careful with the phrase occupation or invasion that really doesn't quite reflect what's going on there. where this is going to go, i don't know. i'm pretty sure if nato pulled out, it would go back to the 400,000 number. i don't know that that means we owe it to the afghans to stay there but it's a dangerous thing to ar tick late our desire to pull nato out of there based on the desire of the -- that's not an accurate understanding of the situation. host: let's go to connecticut. bob on our independent line. caller: yes. thank you for taking my call. i guess the thing -- i'm recently back, less than 10 days from afghanistan. i was up north, certainly not seeing the combat that's happening in the value i where. but the thing that struck me just being a student of history is the time lines and the
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expectations of the american people and some of the stories and reality checks that are not being told such as your average insurgence as i is usually about 10 years by historical measurements, and of course, we're nine years into this, but there are a lot of insurgence as is like slisli that go on for 30 years. sli langa that go on for 30 years. guest: yes, i think you have to be careful about drawing conclusions about this like slisli. sli lanka. >> it was an easy win in 2001. we had the grad constitute of most afghan people. they hateed the taliban.
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and amazingly the united states states, the bush administration left 15,000 soldiers in afghanistan. 15,000. there are 40,000 cops in new york city. we left 15,000 there after a catastrophe like 9/11. the afghans were completely puzzled and perplexed by that decision and i think had the war been dealt with seriously and the plight of the afghan people and critical problems in they're area of the world had been taken seriously in 2001, 2002, 2003, we really would not be at war right now. that the did not happen. war effort started starting in 2007, when i started going there with battle company, so by that measure, you know, now we're really fighting a war, and if you want to start the counterinsurgence as i clock, i would not start it in 2001, the level of forces we had there really do not reflect a concerted military effort.
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host: you write the commander of the battle company said i was blown away by the insurgents ability to continue fighting after everything americans threw at them. from that point i knew it was a different enemy than i fought in iraq and the terrain offered some kind of advantage that i'd never seen or read or heard about in my entire life. guest: yes. it was an extraordinary place. again, i mean, it was a good place to be as a journalist because you saw the effects of combat in a very intense level. 1/5 of all combat was taking place in that six-mile long valley. it's an impressive statistics but also means you can't use that for the micro alcoholism for the rest of the country. it -- the map just doesn't work. i wanted to make a completely non-political book about what it means to be in combat.
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the soldiers are not evaluating the war politically and i think soldiers never have no more than the police department or cops do or fair tomen do. they really are focused on their job, and i wanted to understand that job and the effects on the men and i couldn't have picked a better place to do that. host: fort lauderdale, kirk, republican, good morning. caller: thank you for having me on. sebastian, respectfully i disagree with you i feel many americans feel we are an invading and occupying force and i have a business in dubai and travel back and forth and frustrated at the wore and the expense both in iraq and afghanistan the way we're posturing ourselves against iran makes many of us fearful. what are the metrics of victory. we hear republicans talk about victory. winning the war. many of us don't even know what that would look like.
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guest: you might be right about the american population. i think the really important issue is how the afghans feel. the afghans if they felt we had invaded them that we were occupying their country, we would have a much higher casualty count. there would be many more dead american soldiers. that's not happening. we're losing every year the number we lost every week in vietnam and every day in world war ii. so to me the important metric is what the afghans feel. on to the next part of your question, what is success? i'm just speaking as a civilian and journalist, i'm not in the u.s. military or certainly not in the u.s. government. so i think the attacks of 9/11 came out of the facts that afghanistan was a failed state. there were no extradition treaties. al qaeda could use afghanistan as an operating base.
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they had an airfield, an economy, global communications, and none of those things are true where they currently are in the tribal areas of pakistan. they are there because nato is in afghanistan. no, i'm not saying what i think u.s. policy should or shouldn't be, but it is important to sort of understand the realities and the consequences of our choices. i think if nato pulls out, and i can very well imagine them doing that. if nato pulls out, we run the risk of two things, first of all, the level of violence in afghanistan may well go back to the level in the 1990's when 400,000 afghans were killed during the chaos of the 1990's but we also run the risk of allowing al qaeda back into an area where we cannot get at them and they can achieve full operational capabilities and we run the risk of 9/11 again. . .
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caller: promoting islamic jihad. bernard lewis, who was at princeton university, pushed the prior administration and
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brzezinski to support the islamic movement against the soviet union. the idea that, you know, we could help them or backed them with a religious fundamentalism school, which the british pushed heavily, creating hundreds of billions of dollars and a slush fund with the british-saudi deal for weapons for oil -- host: let's get a response from our guest. guest: i'm not quite sure i follow your question there. there is an opium trade in afghanistan. it is one way farmers make money. they get into a situation where they are in debt to the drug dealers and the only way they can pay that back is by growing opium. if they grow wheat, they do not make enough money to it back to be helped by subsidizing the
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price of wheat. the other part of your question refers to the 1980's when the united states funneled money for weapons for pakistan into mujahedin forces in afghanistan who were fighting the soviet military that invaded iraq is as of 1979 and were in there for 10 years -- that invaded right around christmas of 1949 and were in there for 10 years. -- christmas of 1979 and were in there for 10 years. was that, in my opinion, is that after the soviets withdrew, the united states also withdrew their support of the afghan people. we put tens of hundreds of millions of dollars of weapons into afghanistan after the soviets pulled out, we did not continue that level of support in terms of that rebuilding the government authority, the rule
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of law, schools, highways, infrastructure. that might have stabilized afghanistan. we pulled out almost as fast as the soviets did afghanistan basically imploded. it produced a decade of incredible violence and corruption and mayhem, and because of the just intolerable living conditions that afghans were subject to in the 1990's, they were minimally excepting of the taliban coming in and cleaning house. that is how we wound up with the taliban in afghanistan, and that al qaeda found a willing partner in their endeavors and we got 9/11. if we want to remind the clock at funding them with a high dean, i don't know, good or bad -- funding the mujahedin, i don't know, good or bad, but we should have stabilized the country that really serve our cold war interests very well. host: let's take another look at a documentary "restrepo."
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>> went would you go back to the civilian world? >> i have no idea. >> i have not figured out how to deal with the inside. the only hope i have right now is that eventually i will process it differently but i don't want to not have that as a memory. that is one of the moments that makes me appreciate everything i have. host: sebastian junger, have you kept up with the man that you profiled in your book and movie? how are they doing now? guest: i have kept up with them. only one guy chose to get out of the army. he is a civilian now. we are very close friends. the other guys are still in the army, and most of them have already deployed back to afghanistan for another deployment. you know, keep in touch with them by e-mail and that kind of
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thing. they are doing ok. i mean, they are soldiers, they are tough guys, and they are designed to function in the worst of situations. eventually, they are all coming on, eventually they will be civilians. they are coming back to this country. one of the things i was trying to do with my book and movie is understand their reality. the better we understand their reality, not in a political or moral sense, but in their sense,, the better we understand that, the better we can read incorporate them into society and give them a productive and honored place in society. it is a very, very important job and will take a lot of effort on their part in our part to make that work. host: on that note --
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guest: support the troops but not the war? i mean, you can donate. there is a lot of organizations , the veterans' organizations, the families of veterans, that kind of thing. research at it online and donate money. the conversations you help soldiers when you meet them in the united states -- the conversations you have with soldiers when you meet them in the united states, supportive, not political the soldiers are politicaa, but they don't necessarily want to have that conversation with a complete stranger. tell them that you are proud of them and that they serve their country well. i think you can have that sentiment regardless of your feelings of the war. i know a lot of people don't support the war and a lot of people do. in essence, it does not matter when you are talking to an individual american soldier. host: rikki, raleigh, north
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carolina. caller: hello, ma'am. i want to thank you for trying to cover us over there in afghanistan. i served with the infantry ett, anwhich i know you covered. the cause you received, like what we suffered -- calls you receive are like what we suffered in the population. the higher command and authorities don't understand what is going on on the front lines. they give us rules that don't apply in reality. and the public doesn't care. if they would understand what to support us -- i understand and want to support us, give us jobs and support education. thank you for covering us. guest: thank you very much, sir. thank you for saying that. yes, that is an excellent point. words are great and they are
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necessary. if you can give a veteran of military service the job, that is fantastic. brendan o'byrne, when he came back from afghanistan -- he was an incredible soldier. the skills he had in dealing with the crisis situations of person to deal with -- it is amazing. he came back to the civilian world and he almost could not find a job. despite his incredible skills and abilities. that is a great point to make. thank you for making it. host: independent caller in chicago, welcome. caller: i thank you, mr. sebastian, as i am watching the show. the latest points or like a great said white. you might even as -- a great segued three even answered some of the questions that i was going to ask, how do you support
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the troops and not a war. since you do keep in touch with the troops, tell them that many of us as americans say thank you, because people you spoke of like the bush administration -- i love the the troops but i did not like the policies they passed. when he said he detected from afghanistan to iraq -- i used to who was a lady who was sent to iraq and everything. in vietnam, they called it shellshocked, when people had mental problems coming back from "theater." now they call it ptsd. how is it that we do not just support our troops -- two questions. if you could convey to them that many of us to say thank you for the work they are doing.
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how do we support them and their families, and what would you say to a lot of political officials who are either watching this show now to address that very problem, supporting the troops abut quite possibly not the policies. guest: i will say again, there are a lot of great organizations out there that you can contribute money to that held military, and veterans -- host: if i might break in, you talk about the mental health of these guys and how people you profile -- you open the book with mr. coburn as the guy guiding us through the experience of having a real adjustment problem at first. guest: i continued being his friend and tried to help him find work and help him in every single way that a friend would help a friend.
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obviously, and no one person can do that with everyone in the u.s. military. in some ways, the answer might be one on one. i helped sargent brendan byrne, and he is doing ok perhaps because of my help. if you print it by hand, that is great. these incredible organizations to step in and offer counseling and financial help and housing and counseling and all kinds of things. those are very, very important. if you are in a position to help an individual soldier who was struggling a bit, i would be giving him or her job or just be a friend. that is just human. that is just necessary, whether you are a soldier or not. host: republican in west monroe, louisiana, welcome. caller: good morning. mr. junger, i have a question.
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the other day on another network, they said that the afghan army either -- they pointed out some, i guess, derogatory things about the actual army soldier that was an afghani soldier. they said that they -- he did not even have a driver's license, they walked out on hasish, they sold equipment given to them, and a lot of them went awol. 15 pilots that were supposed to be trained in texas went awol and they were searching for them. how much faith should we have what we need to turn things back over to the afghan army? are they that inefficient? i mean, i know that they have to be brave, but are they just doing this for show until we leave? guest: i mean, i cannot speak
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for all of them. the afghan army is like any other army organization. there is good men and bad man, good units and bad units. you hear the bad stories, obviously. when i was in korengal, the move afghan soldiers out there to partner with the american soldiers in almost a kind of apprenticeship. they had a couple of the squads of afghan soldiers in restrepo. some of those guys were amazing, a great soldiers got a great fighters. very, very disciplined, sort of business like. others were a complete nightmare, complete disaster. i don't know what that reflects, but i think that with the afghan military, you probably have got some very good, highly trained units, and some guys who should not be in uniform. i have not really covered that in my work, so i cannot say from personal knowledge. i do know that i was taken by
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the afghan police from a province on a very scary night drive to kandahar. the governor offered a couple to get me down there. they were absolutely just brave, straight ahead, professional guys who i could not ask for a better escort down to kandahar. that was in 2005. you will hear stories of afghan soldiers who are not very confident or mature. i certainly experienced that. i do not know if it was like it or not. if so, afghanistan is in real trouble -- i do not know if it was widespread or not. so, afghanistan is in trouble. host: james is on the line. caller: my question -- thank you, number one pit no. 2, after the bombing in new york city, america act.
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when we at -- america packs. when we went into this war, we knew up front what we were facing. 90% of the american public has never seen anyone died or killed. people are going to die in war. the objective of the army is not to make friends, not to question what we're doing, but to follow orders. the next thing -- once we have taken that particular position, we have to maintain it. we have to build the schools, we have to help the economic situation develop, we have to maintain some sort of stability there. what do most of the americans with, what i said at the beginning, i have never seen anyone died -- as i said
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beginning, have never seen anyone to die -- what do they want the army to do? guest: i am not sure. i am not a pollster and i am not sure what the level of support is in this country for the war. but you are exactly right. the military are like the police. they are very good at being given the task and executing it. any more than the police, they don't think about the wider political and moral context. police are not out there debating the ethics of the war on crime. they are cops. they try to fight crime and stay alive on the streets. soldiers are very much the same way. i think that moral deliberation, the political deliberation, has to happen, but it has to happen somewhere else, not on the front lines. the soldiers are pretty clear about that. had they sat around talking about the politics of the war, what should we do, how is it
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going in kandahar -- that would have been in my book, that would have been in the movie. but the soldiers do not really talk about that. we should not expect that from them. they are very focused on the task we gave them and executing it, as far as i can tell, with an incredible level of competence and respectability. host: you write in your book that a lot of people who live in the korengal have never actually left and one actually thought the american soldiers were russian who stayed. the soldiers had to use some diplomacy, some of the interacting and drinking tea and spending time with people there. how did that work for them? guest: well, the officers are trained in that kind of low- level diplomacy. the regular soldiers are not doing that. yeah, i mean, korengal is a very
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tough, sort of reclusive place. it had its own particular considerations. they had no connection with the afghan government, and never have. they are self-sufficient and very poor. the ideas come in terms of what the u.s. is doing their -- they want to bring economic development into that valley so that it could not be used as a base by insurgents to attack the other areas of afghanistan that actually were quite important. korengal of itself is not important, but it was being used as a base to attack other areas that were important. the idea was to bring in government, build roads, some access to health care, clean water -- children were getting sick because they were drinking water out of the river. they tried to do that, but to have that, you have to have at security. if you have are road building crew and every morning they get attacked and are getting killed,
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the road will not get built. but the u.s. military was trying to do in korengal was bring in a securities said that these projects could move forward. they only had 150 men to do it with. it was enough men to hold their own. the probably needed a whole battalion in that valley to get the job done and date simply did not have access to that. host: sebastian junger, contribute and editor to "vanity fair" magazine, author of the book "war," thank you for being with us. guest: my pleasure. host: coming up, we look at states in the red with a focus on the new york. we will be right back. >> one of the best quotations about money in politics -- worm that finds a hole.
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>> he won the pulitzer prize for his reporting on time ally and jack abramoff. r. jeffrey smith, correspondent for "the washington post," sunday on "218." >> nonfiction authors from fares and festivals, but to is, and our "after words" and at "in depth" programs. booktv your way. sunday, your questions for syndicated radio talk-show host bill bennett did the former education secretary and first drug czar has authored books for adults and children. three hours with bill bennett, a sunday, part of booktv's three- day holiday weekend on c-span2. get the whole schedule at
9:22 am >> "washington journal" continues. host: continue our five-eight series called -- five-day series called "states and the red" with a look at new york. elizabeth lynam is the research director for the citizens budget commission. the budget deficit, $9.2 billion. how significant is that? guest: it is pretty significant. we were the epicenter of the financial-services meltdown, and had significant problems with the spending that has not matched revenues this year but we have a budget that is about $130 billion, including federal aid. it is about 25% of new york's quds force revenues, without federal aid included. -- own source revenues, without federal aid included.
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our economic indicators have been disturbing. we are seeing signs of recovery. new york city in particular has been on the upward move in terms of employment numbers and unemployment numbers. there is a sign of recovery on the horizon. but we don't expect to see anything like what we saw in the recovery after 2002, for example, which was very short and swift upward economic movement -- sharp and swift upward econnmic movement. that will not happen here. the recovery will be much slower. host: we have been looking at states in the red. tomorrow we will talk about florida, and also, pennsylvania and new hampshire and the coming days. if you want to join the conversation, we have regular numbers to call, and it winds up as the sociall -- and a line set up especially for new york residents. this is from "the washington post."
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"new york is fourth in line among states looking at a budget gap in fiscal year 2011." , but "vid paterson said we may be looking at a lifestyle around the country that may look like a depression, not recession." he made a last-ditch plea for federal help. what does the governor ought to see -- want to see the federal government due to step in? guest: the federal government stepped in and year and half ago with a sizeable package for the state. he would like to see one part of that, as the other governors would, extended, which is the medicaid assistance. is a matching rate that new york and other states get from the federal government for the
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medicaid program, which has expanded rapidly as people need services. host: explained the situation before the governor paterson took office, and the causes of the shortfall. guest: the deficit -- we had been doing well economically. it was typical for a state budget as large as new york's. we have seen it doubled since gov. paterson took office. like most states heavily dependent on the income tax, the revenue stream and tank very quickly, and that is what happened. the state suffered a high losses in personal income tax, mainly from the financial-services sector and people on wall street. host: how is the governor approaching the shortfall? guest: he has been very aggressive with the legislature, particularly try to get spending cuts that he says will help
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future years. one of the things you have to remember is that with the expectation that the economic recovery will be slow this time around, we will have budget gaps for the foreseeable future that are larger than what we have seen. he has tried to put some savings proposals on the table. the legislature has been resistant to that and has fought to have restoration in the budget. he has been aggressive in using his constitutional powers, because new york state is a very strong executive budgeting state and the governor has a lot of power here to force the legislature to put cuts in place. at this point in time, he is building -- wielding the veto pen, has the line item veto, and is threatening to veto thousands of legislations. host: we're looking at the front
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page of "the new york post," " the write stuff," saying that the governor at leas -- "unleashed a vetopalooza." guest: we have been calling it vetothon here. two days of vetos. the first bill he got was a restoration of the school aid, and he vetoed that almost the minute he received it. it has been quite a bit of drama here as a political football goes back and forth between the legislature and governor. host: republican line, green river, wyoming. good morning. caller: good morning. i have a comment. we don't normally see these deficits in new york, but all over the nation.
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john conyers was on "democracy now" yesterday, and one of his colleagues came up with a little motto like the republicans usually do, and that is "the war is making you poor." if we look at 70 cents of every tax dollar going to the military-industrial complex, at all public-works, schools closing left and right, parks are closing, you take 55 cents back from the military- industrial machine and invested back into our country, and then we would see infrastructure, our roads being fixed. we have the technology to go ahead with the wind turbines. we have the technology. we just take it away from the big oil, take it away from the big company, and give all our
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research and all of our resources -- we cannot put america back to work -- we can put america back to work, we just have to give them the profits and get off fossil fuels. host: to new yorkers feel like they should be getting more support from the federal government to lessen the burden? guest: i think that is why the governors of these large estates are lobbying the federal government to extend the assistance package. there is no doubt that the federal government has its own financial pressures, and that is likely to develop for the as some of the bills come home to roost even into the future. the pressure on the federal government has grown, and the size of the package that they had initially promised the state to bail out medicate has shrunk to a that is why they are lobbying the was the expectation that the larger package would be in the extension. federal pressures of grown and looks like the packet will be substantially reduced.
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it is a question of how much the federal government will continue to help the states as they sort out problems. host: eric from upstate new york, independent caller. caller: hey, this is eric did i want to know what is going on with the cigarette tax. what the hell is going on? guest: they did increase the cigarette tax here. the revenue bill included about $290 million in cigarette tax increases. the price per pack will be about $10 in new york state. new york city has its own taxes on cigarettes which will make them even more expensive down there. it is one of the items that they put on the table. they have been trying to use the cigarette tax to reduce smoking and we have seen smoking be reduced. it is a public health goal that they have compared with our revenue need. host: the legislature in new
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york was scheduled to vote on revenue for the budget but that ended up getting pushed back. why, and what does that do? guest: there were outstanding issues with some of the larger policy points that the governor had wanted. there it is the proposal to free the state university campuses from the legislature's authority to appropriate funds and that is controversial. there are legislators that are seeking changes and the package and trying to negotiate with the parties who are trying to get the revenue bill done. at the votes in the senate, which is closely divided, or not there yet. they had to break the holiday weekend and hopefully resume to finish up the revenue bill next week. host: democratic caller in orlando, florida. caller: i am currently on unemployment right now, and i have two weeks left. i wanted to go to school, but
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they told me that if i go to school, i will use unemployment. why would they want someone not to go to school -- not if i go to school, i will use -- lose unemployment. why would they want someone not to go to school if they want unemployment? everything is done online. everybody can get access to a computer at the school or whatever and applications. i don't understand why, if you are trying to dgo to school, tht would deny you unemployment if you go. guest: unemployment is one of the areas where the federal government has extended a number of times the number of months that people can qualify for. i am not familiar with the rules in different states in terms of how you would get the assistance. but there are a lot of people
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unemployed trying to make their way back to the work force, and probably more needs to be done to help people do that. as jobs comeback and we see some recovery, it is important to get people ack to work as soon as possible. host: the associated press reports that a wave of cens -- census layoffs cut payrolls in june for the first time in six months. employers cut 125,000 jobs last month, the most since october. the loss was driven by the end of 225,000 temporary census jobs. businesses added and a total of 83,000 workers, an improvement from may." what is the significance of these numbers? guest: it means that we are showing signs of coming out of the darkest point, and states
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like new york, for example, might expect a slight increase in the revenues that they have expected. that will help out, but not nearly to the level that is going to be needed, because deficits are so significant. in new york, we might see 200 million or so from some of the economic recovery, and that is very small in terms of the $9.2 billion budget gap we are facing. i should point out that although this year the budget gap is $9.2 billion, that gap will grow, and by the year 2013, 2014, it is expected to reach almost $20 billion, because spending growth is outstripping what you're seeing in terms of revenue expectations. host: texas, democratic caller, kirby. caller: good morning, ladies. i am a new york pensioner living in texas.
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spitzer, your former governor, says he wants to get his hands on the pension money. heworries me get tw -- worries me. two, can you give me a long- range outlook on how pension is holding up? guest: the pension fund in new york is doing well. they had losses last year, but they were up 26% year over year in -- the growth this year was quite good. assets are strong. new york has a long tradition of slowly funding its pension system. it is an area where we have a very good practices pri won the state comptroller sends the bill to the state, they pay a. there is a proposal pending in the revenue bill that is not passed yet that would bar of on the pension fund to the smooth out -- that would bar w --
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would borrow from the pension fund to smooth out some of the shortfalls but to borrow from the pension funds is a slippery slope. we have lobbied against that in the revenue bill, and hopefully it will be amended. there has been a lot of controversy. but by and large, pension assets did well this year. the state comptroller does have a sole trusteeship over those pension funds, which has also been a point of controversy. but as some of the scandals have come up on mount influence peddling and so forth with some , they investment bank's have cleaned up some and put upward in place to monitor and have better transparency and accountability -- put a board in place and have better transparency and accountability for it. host: elizabeth lynam, you
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wrote "preliminary analysis -- is the budget balanced?" "the targets have fallen short in the past as the efforts to reduce the size of the state workforce through early retirement. lobbying of a federal officials to pass an extension of the relief aid for medicaid may or may not be successful as the federal budget comes under greater pressure from other expenses. accounting for these risks, the size of the current deficit could reach $2.4 billion with no down or changes to revenues. and you talk about some of the things that may need to be done to tighten this gap. can you lay this out for us? guest: there is more work to be done with the revenue bille, and we still have a $500 million budget gap, but for, as you point out, some of the risks on
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what they are assuming in the financial plan. they in the past have tried to collect cigarette taxes on indian reservations with no success. we have not seen many people leaving the state workforce for early retirement they did an incentive package last year that yielded only 10% of the expected savings. of course, the federal issue, which we have talked about, and whether the federal government can extend the 8. -- can extend the aid. those are more sizable if the state legislature does not pass the revenue bill. so the budget gap is there, there is no way that the budget is balanced right now, and more work needs to be done. legislator host: will probably have to come into -- legislators will probably have to come into special session here before the election, which is atypical for them, and two other cuts, and
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look at what else can be done. -- and do other cuts, and look at what else can be done. for example, attacks on to greet beverages, a public health benefit -- a tax on sugary beverages, a public health benefit. there are items that can be taken up again, and should be coming to get a budget that is balanced this year. host: independent caller, rome, new york. hi, nelson. caller: hello, c-span. now american knows what the most dysfunctional legislature reside in new york. how can a state with a big deficit -- like, a few miles from me, there is a new dorm and athletic center going up, $30 million, just started. why can they not put these projects a site for a year or two until they get things
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straightened out? guest: well, a lot of what you are seeing in terms of construction of new york is federal stimulus money. besides the direct operating agents, the federal government did a very large capital infusion of four states to try to put people to work -- large capital infusion for states to try to put people to work. it would seem strange, given that there is financial crisis underway, but a lot of this capital dollars are federal. the other thing is that the capital spending doesn't affect the operating budget as directly, because there is a lack always, and you are really doing the projects with borrowed funds. they have reduced the size of the capital budget and cut some projects that were going to be funded solely with state money, but the savings from that is relatively small, given the size
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of the problem, because of the delays and the lags and the fact that is borrowed money. that is what has been happening. i have also seen a lot of construction around the state is largely federal. host: paul, democratic line, st. louis, missouri. caller: good morning, c-span. glad to talk to you. all of our government services, from the cities, counties, state, and federal, their hospitalization plan is paid for their rest of their life by taxpayers, the retirement is paid by taxpayers, rest of their lives. but the workers who are paying it or told to work until they are 70 years old, and they pay their own hospitalization and some of them don't even get retirement. this is, you know -- it is not right. all the government workers retire early, with all the
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benefits paid for by the people that you are telling to work until you are 70 years old, and then you have to save your own money for your retirement. guest: it is a very large issue that you raised. it is one that about areas in new york, where stron -- it is one of the battleground. in new york. we are a strong -- it is one of the battleground areas in new york. we are a strong union state. organized labor is resistant to changing some of the benefits they have, which are at this point very out of line with private sector benefits. it has really been unfortunate, because it does increase the resentment that people feel in the private sector who do not have the kinds of retirement packages and health insurance that public employees do. it will be an issue that continues with us.
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as the next contract is negotiated and we have a new governor coming in, i think that those lines will be very clearly etched out and it will be something that the unions are really going to need to make some effort to show that they are part of the solution and not part of the problem. host: is the governor less beholden to political interests and concerns than others might be? is he concerned about the future of the party? what are the political motivators as he makes these decisions? guest: well, he has announced he is not running again, so he does have a freer hand to be aggressive. as i said, he is not trying to preserve relationships with legislative leaders. he has been throwing gas on the fire in terms of using the veto pen, and has used every ounce of
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his constitutional budget powerpoint and that's got to -- has used every ounce of his constitutional budget power, and has gotten pretty creative with it, actually. he has taken strong executive budgeting one step further and put a lot of savings proposals in temporary extenders' that have gone to the legislature, and they have had no choice but to adopt them or face a government shutdown, which they have not been willing to deal with. he has got a sizable amount of power, and he is not afraid to use it. if he had been concerned about his next term and what happens politically for him, he would not have been quite as aggressive as he has been able to be. host: a reminder, we are talking this week about states in the red, profiling five states. today we are talking about new york specifically. this piece in "the financial
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.imes" talks about this issue "only vermont must balance the budget annually. the litany of cuts and tax increases and tonic in its have become a familiar refrain in state capitols." we have a special line for new yorkers to call. we now have kenny on from huntington, new york. he is a republican. caller: good morning -- well, if you want to say is good. host: right ahead. have you on. -- go right ahead. we have you waon. caller: it is a tough economy around here. hello? host: you are breaking up, but can you give us your question?
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caller: yes -- so -- host: i think we are going to have to move on, unfortunately. chicago, illinois, independent line. caller: good morning, ladies. how are we doing? host: fine, thanks. you are on with all is the line -- with elizabeth lynam. caller: in my humble opinion, yoit is incorrect for the states to have to balance the budget every year. i am a keynesian, and i think that one of the greatest mistakes made was to rein in the budgets in the mid-to-late- 1930's, causing another depression even worse than 1929. ok, i will let you go. thank you very much.
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guest: well, yes, i think your point is taken are not the federal package that they did -- the federal package that they did. new york expected federal aid of $20 billion, which is now something be expected during the last downturn of 2001-2003. the federal government has stepped in from the keynesian perspective through not working at the economic outcomes through large layoffs. the federal government certainly does not balance its budget. i think there is an argument about states to be made about whether or not they should balance the budget. but most agree that the federal government is where you would really about in balance and that the states as a small unit -- allowyo would really imbalance and that the states as
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a smaller unit have to balance. this was a multi your situation, and new york, for example, did not balance the budget last year. we ended up dropping some payments and tried to roll things between fiscal years because we are on a cash basis here. they are sort of looking over a period of years rather than just within the annual period of the de facto matter of how they have to manage their cash flow. i think question really is will we get the additional federal aid? that has pros and cons. the pros -- yes, it would continue state assistance so that you would avoid layoffs. on the other hand, states are not going to see recovery for some time of the magnitude that they are used to, and they need to restructured spending. there is a middle distance there in terms of states preparing for the end of this battle aid and
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trying to restructure to live on a -- in the work the end up -- states preparing for the end of this federal aid and try to restructure. host: wilmington, north carolina, democrats' line. caller: i am a student living basically on financial aid. one of the flaws i have observed in the system is that there is really no accounting for student loans for what the pell grant is actually used to pay for. i have been wondering if anyone in the government at the federal level or state level -- new york has a very good system for its students -- has anyone
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considered trying to do something to make sure that the money we are giving to students is spent on education and not on booze and cigarettes and things of that nature? guest: well, i think, yes, there have been some efforts to look at pell and reform it. i am not an expert in financial aid or on pell in particular, so i do not know where that stands at this point in time. but the larger point i think that you are making is that every dollar we are spending the leads -- every dollar that we are spending really needs to have the effect we want it to have that as part of the restructuring that i am talking about. the federal government needs to do it, and so to the states but we need to make sure we are targeting our funds and getting all we can get for them.
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it is not a lot of money to spend for ineffective or ill-use programs. host: new york. tom is in independent caller. caller: good morning from troy, new york, across from sunny albany. good morning, elizabeth. i am independent but i work for the appropriations committee in congress about 10 years ago. let me say that the federal government will not be in any position to help out this state. we are all in trouble. but in new york state, the democrats currently have control of the executive and legislative branches, which one might believe would lead to a coherent, effective, efficient approach to dealing with the fiscal crisis. perhaps new york can be seen as a microcosm of the u.s. federal government, but let's hope not, given the historical this functionality -- historical
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dysfunctionalities of new york state? can we expect the government to work in a responsible way to respond to this crisis? is the solution beyond the reach of the government as it is struck in new york state and do politicos have courage to deal with this problem in a responsible way? guest: i think that really is the question, a question i'm asked a lot, actually. the political will have to come from the electorate, certainly, and we do have a choice facing us in november. people should exercise their rights in new york to try to change circumstances that they do not like. that is the ultimate answer. now, can democracy really work here, given some of the influence-peddling and problems with the structure at large, the way that districts are drawn, in
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terms of the legislative districts and campaign finance limits, which are high, and how much of a say do people really have within -- with inside baseball, inside the capitol set up? it is an interesting and important question. there are larger reforms that had been proposed many people think we need to open up the constitution and take a look at amending some of the problems that have come up. we have an old constitution that has not been amended since the 1920's. circumstances have changed. campaign finance reform -- people often put forward proposals to lower our limits and reduce some of the influence-paddling with special interests. independent redistricting commissions have, as a possibility. -- have come up as a possibility. there are large-scale reforms that people needed to support, frankly.
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furthermore, they should take a look at their individual legislatures and look at their records -- legislators and look at their records and use the franchise to make choices about where they want new york government to go. guest: what are the least popular -- host: what are the least popular vetos the governor is looking at now? guest: restoration to school aid. the governors of a job was to have reduced school aid -- by about the governor -- the governor's our original proposal would have reduced school aid by $5.5 billion. he vetoed the restoration. if the veto stands, there will be stuck with a $1.5 billion cut. that is going to be very difficult for legislators and the school districts around the
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state. on the other hand, school district spending is among the highest of any state in new york. it is an area where we do need to tighten our belts if we're going to deal with the fiscal reality of ahead. it is on the one hand, on the other. it is a painful one for people to bear, but a necessary one, also, and will be a highly contested in terms of whether the legislature will override the vetos the governor is sending them. host: massachusetts. caller: good morning, c-span, and ms. lynam. i want to comment on what appears to be one of the most significant issues we're facing today as a country, and that is employment. i was listening to callers i have been a longtime viewer about c-span, a first-time caller.
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i think it's the issue is not going to tax itself. -- i think that this issue is not go to fix itself. they are playing games and the senate, especially on the republican side. this is our real issue. the unemployed people of this country need an extension right now. they don't need it next week, don't need it in a couple of months, whenever senators a congressman come back from the july 4 holiday. they need to sort it out now. is the real issue. -- it is a real issue guest:. guest: it is another symptom of rising fiscal conservatism at the federal level. people there are balking at the size of the deficit they are facing. it is a battleground, and
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certainly, one would hope the federal government can actually find the resources to assist people, but also deal with the fiscal circumstances and a responsible way. -- deal with their fiscal circumstances in eight responsible way. host: let's talk with lisa in manassas, virginia, an independent line. caller: i really appreciate seeing the five estates in red. i was struck by the california want yesterday it. -- california one yesterday. being a native californian, there were probably going to have $3 billion. i recently left california, and i feel like i'm part of republic -- what are people in individual
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states doing? california people are just living their lives and spending the money and not tightening the budgets, not getting prisoners out in the streets and cleaning up the freeways. people are expecting the government to take care of them. guest: well, yeah, it is an interesting point. people like to pay taxes pretty universally, but they -- like -- people don't like to pay taxes pretty universally, but they'd like to government services. they have high expectations and they don't have high expectations to pay for it. with taxes and what is needed to pay for priorities people have, we will pay higher taxes and people will at some point face a very large tax increases as the chickens come home to roost.
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it is interesting -- people set to meet several times recently, where is this recession? if you go to a new york city, there are tourists all over the place and they're spending money but i think a lot of people have tightened their belts and not consumed what they would otherwise consumed. we definitely see that in the personal consumption numbers, that people are very concerned about spending money now. that will slow our recovery, and is slowing its. there has been built-tightening, but people have high expectations of government and we may have to pay higher taxes to do that for people. host: elizabeth lynam is the deputy research director for the citizens budget commission, and joining us from albany, new york. thank you so much for joining us this morning. guest: thank you very much for


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